To COMMIT Is Just the Beginning: Applying Therapeutic Jurisprudence to Reform Parole in Australia

32 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2019

See all articles by Max Henshaw

Max Henshaw

HWL Ebsworth Lawyers

Lorana Bartels

Australian National University (ANU) - ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods

Anthony Hopkins

University of Canberra – Faculty of Law; ANU College of Law

Date Written: November 25, 2019

Abstract

Recidivism represents the failure of the criminal justice system to adequately respond to cycles of crime and dysfunction. With increasing reoffending rates, Australia is demonstrably failing to reduce recidivism and facilitate desistance from crime. Therapeutic jurisprudence (‘TJ’) seeks to understand how law and legal process operate therapeutically. This article considers TJ insights and principles to examine the extent to which Australian parole laws and processes promote desistance. We argue that applying a TJ analysis provides a valuable perspective to understanding how these laws can operate to break the cycle of recidivism in Australia. We then examine the Compliance Management or Incarceration in the Territory (‘COMMIT’) program recently implemented in the Northern Territory, drawing on legislative and policy frameworks and comments from key stakeholders. We find that COMMIT appears to be a promising, TJ-informed, reform, which may represent a shift towards a more therapeutic, and effective, approach to parole compliance.

Keywords: Parole, Australia, Therapeutic Jurisprudence, COMMIT

Suggested Citation

Henshaw, Max and Bartels, Lorana and Hopkins, Anthony, To COMMIT Is Just the Beginning: Applying Therapeutic Jurisprudence to Reform Parole in Australia (November 25, 2019). University of New South Wales Law Journal, Vol. 42, No. 4, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3492798

Max Henshaw

HWL Ebsworth Lawyers ( email )

Australia

Lorana Bartels (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods ( email )

Beryl Rawson Building (13)
Canberra, ACT 0200
Australia

Anthony Hopkins

University of Canberra – Faculty of Law ( email )

Australia

ANU College of Law

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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